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Berwick YB 2016

The name Sayers appears six times in the North Road Championship Club 2016 Year Book as winner of open races. Next year that number will leap to eight.

. This follows a highly successful weekend as the NRCC ended the season with its young bird and old hens classic races.

The Louth partnership of husband and wife, Pete and Margaret Dayton, and Albert Sayers, are provisional winners of both of them to add to last year’s open win in the old bird race from Perth.

Albert’s previous open wins have been in other partnerships – the young bird race in 2007 with Martin Wilkinson, and further young bird successes with the late Tim Dales in successive years, 2010 and 2011.

He can only compete with the NRCC in partnerships because he would be out of the radius if he applied to join on his own.

Although he is the one consistent figure in all these wins, Albert is quick to point out that none of the success would have been possible without the input of past, and present, partners, and he will be forever grateful to all of them for giving him the opportunity to compete at the high level of competition provided by the NRCC.

Albert, at 73, is a retired shepherd, but Pete is still working as a lorry driver at the age of 70.

Their latest young bird win is thanks to a blue hen of Wily Jacob-cross bloodlines, the key breeders coming from the Ireland stud of Gerald Delaney.

She was sent sitting soon-to-hatch eggs, and had had just two races (from Whitby and Seaham Harbour) prior to being sent to Berwick, and this was thanks to the courtesy of the Alford club allowing Albert to send his young birds with them as trainers.
“I am very grateful to them for that,” said Albert.

The handful of fanciers from Louth who remain competing from the north usually fly with the Hull Federation, but their young bird programme did not fit the needs in this instance. Of course, there were also lots of training tosses up to the Humber.

The partners had entered 15, but lost two on a training toss leading up to the race and, of the 13 sent, seven were home at the time of speaking. Albert puts the losses down to the lack of race experience to cope with the strong wind which started out as North East, changed en route to North West and, latterly, to west.

Winner of the old hens’ race was a proven blue two-year-old with a number of wins to her credit. She had been put in the young bird loft and was just looking at a cock bird on basketing.
“I have found that can be a good motivation,” said Albert. “I am always trying different ways to get the best out of the pigeons.”

Despite having a bad trap, the partners were clear provisional winners of the old bird race.

After the untimely death of Tim Dales, Albert was invited by Pete and Margaret Dayton to join them in partnership, and that has proved to be a good working relationship climaxing in three national wins inside four years of their joining forces.

After last year’s win from Perth, Albert said that he believed that the best was still to come from their team. He seems to have been right.
While he describes their system as roundabout, it is different from that practised by many fanciers as the cocks and hens see each other every day for about a couple of hours after exercise.

The racing team is at Pete and Margaret’s home, and Pete does all the cleaning out which is, perhaps, a good thing because Albert has often been heard to say that he is allergic to a scraper.

Albert likes to feed a mixture of top-quality grains including Versele Laga, Diet, Gerry Plus, Super Widowhood and peanuts.

Race secretary Ian Bellamy described this as another successful race but, as in all races this year, the weather was a tease yet again, and it was only after a lot of crossing of fingers that convoyer Darren Shepherd was able to liberate on Sunday, after a day’s holdover.

Said Ian: “It turned out to be a good race from Berwick but it could have been a very different scenario if the birds had not come through the heavy cloud that was in the north of England.

“Perhaps we have to thank the wind, or was it, perhaps, the comfort the birds enjoyed in the new NRCC Geraldy transporter before liberation?

“It looks like Dayton and Sayers have had a very good day in winning both the Young Bird event and the Old Hens race. Well done to them.”

Provisional section winners in the young bird race are:

A - P A Crooks.
B - J Salvador.
C - Dayton & Sayers.
E - Fitzjohn Bros.
F - S Rudledge.
H - J Connolly & Son.
I - N Holden.

By George Wheatman